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Offbeat illegal fillage for lobbying purposes: Monsanto sanctioned in France up to 400.000 euros

14:25  28 july  2021
14:25  28 july  2021 Source:   europe1.fr

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L'agrochimiste Monsanto, propriété de Bayer, a été condamné à une amende administrative de 400.000 euros par la Cnil. En 2019, deux médias français avaient révélé que l'entreprise avait collecté illégalement des données sur des personnalités publiques, journalistes et militants, pour influencer le débat public sur l'interdiction du glyphosate. © Juliette Michel / AFP The Agrochemist Monsanto, owned by Bayer, was sentenced to an administrative fine of 400,000 euros by the CNIL. In 2019, two French media had revealed that the company had illegally collected data on public figures, journalists and activists, to influence the public debate on the ban on glyphosate.

The CNIL, French Gendarme Personal Data, delivered Wednesday against Agrobriimist Monsanto (ownership of Bayer) an administrative fine of 400,000 euros for illegally stuck public figures, journalists and activists for the purpose of Influence the public debate on the ban on glyphosate . The regulator, the recipient of 7 complaints "emanating from persons concerned by this file," criticizes the company for lacking the obligation of information of persons, who did not teach the existence of this data processing. From his revelation in the media in May 2019.

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"More than 200 personalities" entered in the file

"The creation of contact files by the interest representatives for lobbying purposes is not, in itself, illegal. On the other hand, can only be included in this file that people who can reasonably expect, because of their reputation or activity, to be the subject of contacts in the sector, "says the Commission. It is also necessary that "the data listed in the file has been legally collected and that people are informed of the existence of the file, in order to exercise their rights, including their right of opposition."

"Information is an essential right that conditions other rights (rights of access, opposition, erasure ...) where people have: in this case have been prevented during several Years ", insists the CNIL, which also identified a breach of the obligation to supervise the processing of data by subcontractors. According to its investigation, the file in question contained for each of the "more than 200 personalities" entered in the file, a "rating of 1 to 5" allowing "to evaluate its influence, its credibility and its support to the company Monsanto on various topics such as pesticides or genetically modified organisms ".

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A European affair

The case revealed in 2019 by the world and France 2 quickly expanded to Europe. Lists of personalities (policies, scientists, journalists) also existed in at least six other countries (Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom) as well as for the European institutions, had indicated Bayer who had presented His excuses .

The German chemist, owner of Monsanto since 2018, had put an end "until new order" to his collaboration in communication with the Fleishman Hillard agency, who had established these files on behalf of the American Monsanto. French justice had also opened an investigation into illegal suspected suspicions which aims, in particular, the head of "personal data collection by fraudulent, unfair or unlawful means".

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